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Old 01-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
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Default What grains to add to a light ME to make a Dubbel

Hi all. New to the site but have brewed several batches. I'm just getting back into brewing after a few years away and have a question. I'm wanting to make a Belgian Dubbel, but the recipe calls for amber malt extract, which I don't want to use. I'd rather use light malt extract and add grains to it, but I'm not sure what or how much to add. I'm thinking something like Crystal 60 would work, but I'm not sure. The recipe I have calls for 7.5 pounds of amber LME, but if anyone knows the amount/type of grain per pound/can/recipe I'll take any of them and I can go from there.

Thanks for the help,
Mark

Prost!

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #2
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You could steep a little crystal 60 in there. Or you could go mini mash and use a little bit of munich with the crystal.

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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Try a pound of Belgian Caramunich and a pound of Belgian dark candi syrup. You'll get a more authentic dubbel than with the amber extract.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:07 AM   #4
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1 pound of 90L Belgian syrup will get you a nice ruddy brown color. If you want to go darker, try 180L Belgian syrup. This will give you a dark brown, almost black color. Either one will give a "traditional" Belgian flavor. I usually steep "Belgian Aromatic" malt and "caramunich" in my darker Belgians, but this is more for flavor/aroma/body than it is for color.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:19 AM   #5
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i like specialB in my dubbels

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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I just brewed a Trappist-style Dubbel (partial-mash) that ended up turning into a trippel simply based on alcohol content (it also turned out a it lighter than I had anticipated).
I was shooting for Chimay Red. Its okay, but I missed the mark quite a bit. Google the 'Chimaybe' recipe thats out there - the partial mash version has Special B malt, a little chocolate malt, and some crystal malt as well (I'm at work so I don't have the recipe in front of me). Based on my experience, I would add a little more Special B than what was listed. Obviously, I'd make sure to get the appropriate yeast strain as well.
But I think my biggest mistake was using clear belgian Candi and some table sugar instead of all dark Candi sugar. I had used some Amber DME instead of all light DME, so I thought this might balance things out. My beer is definitely lacking in the 'raisiny-pruney' character that the Chimay Red has.
I am hot to take another swing at this, but it may be a little while yet. So I'll be interested in what was your exact recipe, and also what the final verdict is....

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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A Belgian Dubbel is a very specific style of beer, you don't just use amber extract or use some crystal 60.

Special B, Aromatic and Caramunich are a great place to start when doing steeping grains.

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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I don't disagree. I think I did use caramunich, actually, per the recipe. And the other one I was trying to remember was Belgian Aromatic.

Had a few of mine last night. It actually turned out as a pretty decent trippel by accident. Next time I want darker and more raisiny-fruity character though; want to work closer towards the Chimay Red.

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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List your original recipe please. That way you will not get suggestions for things that are already in the recipe. For a dubble I would definitely add Caramunich II.

Honestly with a dubbel I would go with Pilsen extract.

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Old 02-08-2013, 07:39 PM   #10
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After a quick check on some of the related threads, I can tell you what some common themes are:

Specialty Malts: seem to include Caramunich, Special B, Aromatic, and some have wheat and/or a little [e.g. 2 oz] chocolate malt
Adjuncts: Candi Sugar/syrup (D-45 or Amber)
Hops: Styrian Goldings, usually
Yeast: WLP 500 or Wyeast 1214 are supposed to be the Chimay strain; folks are saying that this is fruitier than the WLP 530 (Westmalle) strain

there is also alot of talk about fermentation temperature: that is, starting at 65F then ramping up to 70F or higher once the initial ferm start to die down

I hadn't seen wheat as part of the original 'Chimaybe' recipe that I had adapted, but some have pointed out that Chimay does mention wheat right on their label (in the recipes, I have seen both white wheat and torrified wheat). For my next, try I plan on using it, mainly since this winter I had a Blue Moon dark wheat beer that really did evoke Chimay red for me.

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